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April 5, 2024

A guide to employee data collection and management

Learn how to collect and analyze employee data to build a better benefits plan.


  • Employee data and why it's important
  • Types of employee data
  • How to collect employee data within your organization

Conversations between management and employees can lead to better understanding. However, they don't always cover all the details. Through employee data, employers can gain insights into what team members struggle with and how best to support them with a benefits plan.

What employee data is most helpful? And what is the best way to collect and analyze this personal information? Learn how to efficiently collect employee data and use it to your company’s benefit in this blog.

Employee data and why it's important

Employee data is any detail that businesses collect about their workforces. This material could include demographic insights, personal and employment details, and medical needs. Employers collect this information to:

  • Improve effectiveness
  • Help meet business goals
  • Reduce legal liabilities caused by noncompliant benefits plans

With this data, businesses can build strategic targets. These strategies can help companies make clearer decisions about organizational matters. In thinking about these decisions, the best way to discover patterns and trends is to examine how a workforce acts over time. Collecting, organizing, analyzing, and comparing metrics provides a blueprint for increased employee well-being.

For example, a business leader might notice an increase in long-term leave. One route this leader can take is to understand the cause of this trend and then search for helpful solutions. With greater insights, employers may avoid problematic circumstances and benefit from having healthier, more productive workers.

Additionally, companies could learn which benefits are most popular among workers. Then, they can save money by focusing just on those benefits.

Of course, people are unpredictable. However, insights and facts can drive employee engagement. For employers, a view of the workforce via data can help them keep tabs on team members’ health concerns. An increase in time off may indicate burnout on several employees' parts. With this data, companies can place a greater emphasis on mental health benefits.

Types of employee data

Companies collect various types of employee data—sometimes without even knowing. We’ve compiled the most common types of data points and how they're collected.

Basic employee HR data

Companies of all sizes collect basic HR data during the hiring and onboarding processes. This includes:

  • Demographic information covers a person’s age, gender, ethnicity, and education level. These details let employers know about the individual's social standing and group. This offers beneficial personal information about the organization’s diversity and hiring process.

  • Qualifications cover a person’s work experience, skills, and training. Employers gain a sense of what an individual can do regarding their role.

  • Employment length reveals a worker's length of employment at previous or current jobs. This information could also reveal extended breaks due to illness, parental leave, or the pursuit of additional training or education.

Employers or human resource professionals can review new hire documents to gather employee HR data. To create detailed employee profiles, look to these resources:

  • Contract termination letters
  • Employee resumes
  • Employment agreements
  • Exit interviews
  • Job descriptions
  • Offer letters
  • Recruitment information
Attendance data

This data shows what types of leave people take, whether for illness or vacation. Employers can use these insights to improve productivity and prevent absenteeism. It also aids in determining what health benefits may be good for employees' health.

Employee management software can help track this information. Employers can review trends and adjust their processes after reviewing time off requests and the reasons behind them.

Time tracking data

Time tracking data reveals how many hours employees work over a given period. This method helps employers:

  • Ensure proper compensation for their people
  • Improve employee scheduling
  • Understand how people spend their days

There are a few different ways to track these details. They include:

  • Paper
    Business leaders can write down how many hours employees spend on a task.

  • Punch clock
    A punch clock may help employers store time-tracking data for later use.

  • Time-tracking software
    Employers can track employee scheduling to see how many hours each person works.
Employee engagement

This data type is more qualitative than quantitative. It looks at how involved employees are with their co-workers and project load. It can aid employers in identifying areas to improve the overall employee experience. It can also proactively detect employee engagement issues.

Employers can put rolling one-on-one meetings on their employees’ calendars to check in and see how they're doing. This action gives workers opportunities to share concerns or challenges. In return, managers can provide solutions that lead to increased engagement.

Employee performance

Employee performance information sheds light on how workers are doing in terms of company goals, projects, and individual achievements. It determines how efficient teams are and identifies areas for improvement. It also points to who might be eligible for rewards, promotions, or raises for their hard work.

There are a few ways to collect these details:

  • Peer feedback
    Look to an individual’s co-workers to gain their perspectives.

  • Achievements
    Analyze accomplishments within a worker's role. These achievements can include their number of sales and customer visits.

  • Employee productivity
    Pay attention to quality metrics such as a net promoter score and customer satisfaction.
Short- and long-term leave

Monitor workers’ use of disability insurance, including short- and long-term leave. It helps employers notice benefits trends and patterns. In addition, it could reveal what medical attention teams may need to lower their health care spending. Employers can monitor this data through employee benefits plan usage.

How to collect employee data within your organization

Responsible data collection is vital for team members to trust their employers. To accomplish this, companies should follow these best practices.

Collect ethically

Organizing an employee database comes with a lot of responsibilities. Employers must obtain explicit consent from employees before collecting their data. This is especially true if the scope of data collected goes beyond what's necessary for employment purposes.

Secure data

Business leaders can keep employee information confidential by implementing security measures. Employee data management could include using:

  • Access controls
  • Regular data security audits
  • Strong passwords
  • Secure storage
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Other relevant protective measures.

Additionally, it can be helpful to anonymize data where possible to reduce the risk of misuse.

Be transparent

Employers must let their employees know of the hows and whys of personal data collection. This transparency builds trust among employees. It also ensures employees become aware of the processes used to compile the employee information.

Follow compliance

Companies should ensure data collection and management practices follow local, state, and federal laws. Employers must stay current on changes to data privacy laws that may impact their organization.

Create and follow a set policy

Employee data collection must have set processes and policies. Employers can establish clear rules for how long they retain employee data. They should also create criteria determining which data is worthy of storage and use.

Limit unauthorized access

Companies can limit unauthorized access by creating a team to collect employee data. Having one group monitor the gathering processes can keep data contained.

Delete unnecessary information

Insight collection can be vast and seemingly endless. However, employers must only gather insights relevant to their goals. This employee data protection method minimizes the collection of sensitive information. It also creates accountability among employers.

How we help

If your team isn’t utilizing employee data, you may miss insights to help your organization grow and save money. Our solution, Workers’ Health 360®, is a digital platform that completes the circle of organizational health, worker well-being, and risk management with data integration. There's no need to manually collect and analyze employee data—this employee database does it for you.

The platform breaks down workers’ compensation, medical plan data, pharmacy use, and short- and long-term disability. This information provides a better view of your employee population.

Does this sound like a resource your organization would find useful? Reach out to one of our consultants today.